Power Semiconductors Weekly+ Vol. 06
GE Shows 3.8kv SiC Diode
A team led by General Electric researchers have developed ultra high voltage silicon carbide SiC superjunction diodes that could form the basis of power switches from 3 to 20kV.
The researchers at GE used very high energy (MeV) ion implantation technology to produce devices with specific on-resistance below the SiC unipolar, or theoretical, limit, resulting in lower losses.
In a paper at the IEDM conference in December, they will show details of 2 kV SiC superjunction PiN diodes and 3.8 kV SiC superjunction junction barrier Schottky (JBS) diodes. These devices represent a scalable path toward future realization of 3-20 kV switches for power electronics applications.
Original – eeNews
Vishay Intertechnology FRED Pt® Gen 5 600 V Hyperfast Rectifiers in Isolated Package Deliver Best in Class Reverse Recovery Performance
Vishay Intertechnology, Inc. introduced four new FRED Pt® Gen 5 600 V Hyperfast rectifiers in a fully isolated TO-220 FullPAK 2L package. Offering the best reverse recovery performance for devices in their class, the 12 A VS-E5TW1206FP-N3 and VS-E5TX1206FP-N3 and 15 A VS-E5TW1506FP-N3 and VS-E5TX1506FP-N3 are designed to increase the efficiency of medium frequency converters and of hard- and soft-switched or resonant designs.
Compared to previous-generation solutions, the Vishay Semiconductors devices released today reduce reverse recovery charge (Qrr) by 60 %, resulting in 90 % lower recovery losses. Furthermore, the rectifiers deliver a 10 % improvement in reverse recovery energy (Erec) compared to the closest competing device, a softer recovery tail for improved EMI reduction, and more stable operation over their entire operating temperature range for increased thermal performance.
With the latest addition to its family of Gen 5 600 V FRED Pt rectifiers, Vishay is extending the benefits of high-end Si technology to different circuit topologies, including classic and bridgeless power factor correction (PFC) front-end configurations. The devices will serve as output and PFC rectifiers for AC/DC and DC/DC power stages in industrial applications — including air conditioners, off-board chargers, lighting, hybrid solar inverters, and UPS — where they will guarantee system reliability and robustness without compromising on performance.
The VS-E5TW1206FP-N3, VS-E5TX1206FP-N3, VS-E5TW1506FP-N3, and VS-E5TX1506FP-N3 are available in X-type and the new W-type speed classes. For CCM and resonant applications with higher switching frequencies to 100 kHz and low di/dt to 350 kHz, W-type devices deliver lower Qrr, while X-type rectifiers offer lower forward voltage. RoHS-compliant and halogen-free, the rectifiers provide high temperature operation to +175 °C and isolation voltage of 2500 V.
Original – Vishay Intertechnology
onsemi Launches Automotive Silicon Carbide-Based Power Module Trio for On-Board Chargers
onsemi announced a trio of silicon carbide (SiC) based power modules in transfer molded technology that are intended for use in on-board charging and high voltage (HV) DCDC conversion within all types of electric vehicles (xEV). The APM32 series is the first-of-its-kind that adopts SiC technology into a transfer molded package to enhance efficiency and shorten charge time of xEVs and is specifically designed for high-power 11-22kW on-board chargers (OBC).
Each of the three modules exhibits low conduction and switching losses, combining with best-in-class thermal resistance and high voltage isolation to deal with 800V bus voltage. The enhanced efficiency and lower heat generation ultimately allow for a more powerful OBC. One that can charge the xEV faster and increase its operating range – two critical factors for consumers.
“Our new modules employ the latest SiC technology to minimize losses and overall system volume, allowing designers to meet charging efficiency and space goals,” said Fabio Necco, vice president and general manager, Automotive Power Solutions at onsemi. “By adopting the pre-configured modular format, designers are able to configure their designs faster, with significantly lower time to market and design risk.”
Taking advantage of onsemi’s end-to-end SiC supply chain capability and proven SiC MOSFETs and diodes, the APM32 modules offer high levels of reliability, and each module is serialized for full traceability. The modules can operate with junction temperatures (Tj) as high as 175°C, ensuring reliability even in challenging, space-constrained automotive applications.
“APM32 provides a differentiated solution for our customers by leveraging onsemi’s best-in-class packaging to unleash the full capability of the leading-edge silicon carbide technology,” said Simon Keeton, executive vice president and general manager, Power Solutions Group at onsemi. “In addition, we know our customers value supply assurance, which our end-to-end SiC supply chain capabilities provide.”
Two modules of the APM32 series, NVXK2TR40WXT and NVXK2TR80WDT, are configured in H-bridge topology with a breakdown (V(BR)DSS) capability of 1200 V, ensuring suitability for high voltage battery stacks. They are designed to be used in the OBC and HV DCDC conversion stages. The third module, NVXK2KR80WDT, is configured in Vienna Rectifier topology and used in the power factor correction (PFC) stage of the OBC. There will be six-pack and full-bridge modules in the near future to complete the SiC OBC portfolio.
All three modules are housed in a compact and robust Dual Inline Package (DIP), which ensures low module resistance. The top cool and isolated features meet the most stringent automotive industry standards. The creepage and clearance distances meet IEC 60664-1 and IEC 60950-1. Additionally, the modules are qualified to AEC-Q101 and AQG 324 for automotive use.
Original – onsemi
Infineon Introduces The 950 V CoolMOS™ PFD7 Family with an Integrated Fast Body Diode to Address High-Power Lighting and Industrial SMPS Applications
To address contemporary market needs for improved form factors and energy-efficient products, Infineon Technologies (FSE: IFX / OTCQX: IFNNY) has developed a new CoolMOS™ PFD7 high-voltage MOSFET family, setting a new benchmark in 950 V superjunction (SJ) technology. The new 950 V series combines outstanding performance with state-of-the-art ease of use and features an integrated fast body diode ensuring a robust device and in turn reduced bill-of-material (BOM). Tailored to ultrahigh-power density as well as the highest efficiency designs, the new products are primarily addressing lighting systems, as well as consumer and industrial SMPS applications.
The new products are suitable for flyback, PFC, and LLC/LCC designs, including half- or full-bridge configurations making commutation robust and reliable. By integrating an ultra-fast body diode with ultra-low reverse recovery charge (Q rr), they offer hard commutation ruggedness and reliability. This makes it the most robust SJ MOSFET in this voltage class, enabling usage across all topologies in the targeted applications. In addition, significantly reduced switching losses (E OSS, Q OSS, and Q g) improve efficiency in hard- and soft-switching applications and result in up to 4°K lower MOSFET temperature compared to 900 V CoolMOS C3 SJ MOSFET. The new products improve light- and full-load PFC efficiency by more than 0.2 percent while matching the performance with regards to LLC efficiency, contributing to a greener world.
The new family offers up to 55 percent lower on resistance (R DS(on)) devices in various SMD and THD packages, like 450 mΩ in DPAK or 60 mΩ in TO247. This enables designers to use smaller packages and boost power density and board space savings at reduced BOM and production costs. A gate-source threshold voltage (V (GS),th) of 3 V and smallest V (GS),th variation of ±0.5 V, makes the new devices easy to design-in and drive, leading to increased design freedom. Due to the low threshold voltage and tolerance, MOSFET linear mode operation is avoided while allowing lower driving voltage and reduced idle loss. Additionally, a 60 percent improved gate charge compared to CoolMOS C3 results in significantly reduced driving losses. ESD ruggedness is ensured with a human body model (HBM) level of class 2, providing reduced ESD-related failures and improved manufacturing yield.
Original – Infineon
Toshiba GaN Power Device Balances Performance and Ease of Use
The energy conservation is attracting attention toward the realization of a carbon-free society, on the other hand, the demand for electric power continues to escalate. The need for highly efficient and compact electric power conversion systems increases rapidly. Not only improving the performance of Si power semiconductors, but also compound power semiconductors is introduced. We are expanding the product lineup of Si power semiconductors and increasing production capacity. In compound semiconductors, we commercialize SiC (Silicon carbide) semiconductor products. Furthermore, we are advancing development for GaN (Gallium nitride) power devices.
By offering high-performance GaN power devices that are easier for customers to use, we will contribute to reduce power dissipation and reduction in size of customer’s equipment.
Original – Toshiba
Vishay Intertechnology 600 V EF Series Fast Body Diode MOSFET in Low Profile PowerPAK® 10 x 12 Package Delivers Industry’s Lowest RDS(ON)*Qg FOM
Vishay Intertechnology, Inc. introduced a new fourth-generation 600 V EF Series fast body diode MOSFET in the low profile PowerPAK® 10 x 12 package. Providing high efficiency and power density for telecom, industrial, and computing applications, the Vishay Siliconix n-channel SiHK045N60EF slashes on-resistance by 29 % compared with previous-generation devices, while delivering 60 % lower gate charge. This results in the industry’s lowest on-resistance times gate charge for devices in the same class, a key figure of merit (FOM) for 600 V MOSFETs used in power conversion applications.
Vishay offers a broad line of MOSFET technologies that support all stages of the power conversion process, from high voltage inputs to the low voltage outputs required to power the latest high tech equipment. With the SiHK045N60EF and other devices in the fourth-generation 600 V EF Series family, the company is addressing the need for efficiency and power density improvements in two of the first stages of the power system architecture — totem-pole bridgeless power factor correction (PFC) and subsequent DC/DC converter blocks. Typical applications will include edge computing and data storage; UPS; high intensity discharge (HID) lamps and fluorescent ballast lighting; solar inverters; welding equipment; induction heating; motor drives; and battery chargers.
Built on Vishay’s latest energy-efficient E Series superjunction technology, the SiHK045N60EF’s low typical on-resistance of 0.045 Ω at 10 V is 27 % lower than devices in the PowerPAK 8 x 8 package. The result is a higher power rating for applications ≥ 3 kW, while the device’s low 2.3 mm profile increases power density. In addition, the MOSFET offers ultra low gate charge down to 70 nC. The resulting FOM of 3.15 Ω*nC is 2.27 % lower than the closest competing MOSFET in the same class, which translates into reduced conduction and switching losses to save energy and increase efficiency. This allows the device to address the specific titanium efficiency requirements in server power supplies or reach 98 % peak efficiency in telecom power supplies.
For improved switching performance in zero voltage switching (ZVS) topologies such as LLC resonant converters, the SiHK045N60EF provides low effective output capacitances Co(er) and Co(tr) of 171 pf and 1069 pF, respectively. The device’s Co(tr) is 8.79 % lower than the closest competing MOSFET in the same class, while its fast body diode provides a low Qrr of 0.8 μC for increased reliability in bridge topologies. In addition, with a maximum junction to case thermal resistance rating of 0.45 °C/W, the MOSFET’s PowerPAK 10 x 12 package offers the best thermal capability of any surface-mount package. Compared to devices in the PowerPAK 8 x 8, the SiHK045N60EF provides 31 % lower thermal impedance.
Designed to withstand overvoltage transients in avalanche mode with guaranteed limits through 100 % UIS testing, the MOSFET released today is RoHS-compliant, halogen-free, and Vishay Green.
Original – Vishay Intertechnology
Saki Corporation Launches Upgraded X-Ray Inspection System for Power Modules
Saki Corporation, an innovator in the field of automated optical and X-ray inspection equipment, announced the launch of a new model of in-line 3D-CT automated X-ray inspection system (AXI) for power module inspection. The 3Xi-M200 V2 significantly reduces cycle time while improving inspection image quality and lowering maintenance requirements.
Utilizing a newly developed inspection algorithm, the 3Xi-M200 V2 delivers unparalleled image resolution and clarity, significantly improving void detection accuracy. An increased X-ray detector field of view and new conveyor design for larger carriers significantly shortens cycle time, while the closed X-ray tube and other hardware improvements greatly reduce the overall maintenance requirements.
Widely used in electric vehicles (EVs), data centers, infrastructure power systems, and more, power modules are key for energy-saving performance. As society moves toward low-to-zero carbon emissions, the demand for power modules will increase. The mounting process of power modules relies on high-quality, fully automated inspection for top-tier quality assurance, continuing the need for a high-speed and low-maintenance solution that produces clear, low-noise, X-ray imagery, capable of detecting defects hidden from visual inspection.
Since the launch of automated X-ray inspection (AXI) for power module inspection in 2011, Saki has been installing AXI systems for the quality assurance and inspection needs of many major manufacturers of power semiconductors worldwide. With the 3Xi-M200 V2, Saki offers a comprehensive upgrade to the AXI system technology of the current model 3Xi-M200, based on global market experience and the increasing needs of power module inspection.
The main features of the 3Xi-M200 V2 are:
- Improved Inspection Quality
The custom “Planar CT” method enables high-definition tomographic images to be rendered with fewer image slices.
Saki’s unique structure includes a fixed X-ray source and a rigid gantry that achieves exceptional positioning accuracy, resulting in superior high-precision inspections.
Full stereoscopic images and noise cancelation filters reliably detect defects invisible from the outside, including voids in three-layer soldering.
- Faster Performance
With an enlarged field of view (FOV), the larger detector has an imaging area 1.3x greater than before, reducing the number of required image slices and significantly shortening imaging time.
Upgrades to the conveyor allow for larger jigs, up to 460 x 600mm. This improves batch inspection sizes, further reducing cycle time.
- Low Maintenance
A modified lead-protected design significantly reduces the sensor’s exposure, improving sensor life.
The closed X-ray tube further reduces need for maintenance.
Unexpected downtime is avoided with the self-diagnosis functionality that proves early-warning alarms prior to system issues.
“The market for power modules, used extensively in driving motors and other components, is expected to grow in size in the future in response to the shift to EVs in automobiles and increased investment in data centers,” said Norihiro Koike, President and CEO of Saki Corporation. “Saki will contribute to a decarbonized society by supporting the manufacturing quality of power modules, a key technology for energy conservation, with high-quality inspection.”
Original – Global SMT&Packaging
Qorvo® and SK Siltron CSS Announce Long-Term Silicon Carbide (SiC) Supply Agreement
Qorvo® and SK Siltron CSS announced they have finalized a multi-year supply agreement for silicon carbide (SiC) bare and epitaxial wafers.
This agreement will promote domestic semiconductor supply chain resilience and a greater ability to support the rapidly rising demand for advanced silicon carbide solutions, specifically in the automotive market. This agreement will also provide end-user customers a level of protection and confidence as customers adopt Qorvo’s industry leading Gen 4 SiC FET solutions.
SiC devices are more efficient at handling high powers and conducting heat than traditional silicon. When used in electric vehicle (EV) system components, this allows for a more efficient transfer of electricity from the battery to the motor, increasing the driving range of an EV by 5% to 10%.
Original – Qorvo
Navitas and VREMT Open Joint R&D Lab for Next-Gen EV Power Systems and Semiconductors
Navitas Semiconductor and VREMT announced the opening of an advanced, joint R&D power semiconductor laboratory to accelerate EV power-system developments using Navitas’ GaNFast (gallium nitride, GaN) power ICs and GeneSiC (silicon carbide, SiC) power MOSFETs and diodes.
GaN and SiC are ‘wide bandgap’ power semiconductors that deliver higher efficiency at faster switching speeds, with smaller system size and lower costs than legacy silicon chips. These advances will enable EV power conversion systems to deliver faster-charging, faster-acceleration, longer-range and lower-cost EVs which will accelerate our planet’s transition from fossil-fuel to clean-air vehicles.
Mr. Shuibao GUO (郭水保), Vice GM of VREMT and Mr. Charles (Yingjie) ZHA, VP and GM of Navitas China opened the joint lab in Ningbo, PRC on November 1st, 2022. The lab will host highly skilled Navitas engineers, working with advanced power system design tools and in close partnership with VREMT system design teams.
The joint R&D lab will be further supported by Navitas’ own unique EV System Design Center, located in Shanghai. The Design Center assists customers to maximize GaN and SiC performance advantages, including high-frequency magnetics design plus advanced packaging and modules to create higher power density, higher efficiency, and lower system cost power electronics systems for EVs.
“Navitas’ next-generation power semiconductors bring enormous value to VREMT’s design teams,” said Mr. Guo. “We expect that Navitas’ high-frequency power-system expertise will greatly reduce time-to-prototype and time-to-market for VREMT systems.”
“It is an honor for Navitas to join with VREMT division to create this leading-edge, joint laboratory to create next-generation power systems for VREMT,” said Mr. Zha. “This new partnership is aligned on both technical goals and also for sustainability, as both companies focus on carbon neutrality.”
Original – Navitas Semiconductor
Transphorm Appoints Six Company Leaders
Transphorm Inc of Goleta, near Santa Barbara, CA, USA — which designs and manufactures JEDEC- and AEC-Q101-qualified gallium nitride (GaN) field-effect transistors (FETs) for high-voltage power conversion — has appointed six company leaders. The roles are being filled by company veterans as well as newly hired experts. Their collective sales, operations, engineering and product marketing skillsets will contribute to business growth and customer support strategies as Transphorm responds to rapidly rising demand for high-voltage GaN power semiconductors across industries.
“The GaN power semiconductor field is an exciting one enabling significant efficiency savings with compact, cost-effective power converters and inverters. This challenges engineers and operational leaders alike to think beyond the status quo,” says president & COO Primit Parikh. “The team we have assembled to date is comprised of passionate individuals who understand our role in the power electronics industry and deeply value what Transphorm offers customers and ecosystem partners,” he adds. “We are proud to have this strong team in place to lead the next phase of growth and innovation.”
- Philip Zuk, appointed to senior VP, business development & marketing, has spent nearly seven years supporting Transphorm in various capacities. He has been instrumental in developing relationships with marquee customers and technical partners; defining products and solutions; and establishing the company’s brand image while evangelizing its technology. That knowledge and experience led to him play a key supporting role in taking Transphorm public. He draws on nearly three decades of engineering experience anchored primarily in power semiconductors, having previously held engineering and marketing roles at Vishay (Siliconix), Microsemi PPG, Fairchild Semiconductor, and other major power technology companies.
- Sal Barlett recently joined Transphorm as senior VP, operations. For nearly three decades, he worked for onsemi ,where he most recently led the global capacity, capital planning, and strategy teams. His leadership there enabled the firm to more than double its multi-billion-dollar annual revenue. Among other achievements, he acted as operations leader for various factory acquisitions and divestitures transacted during his tenure. His responsibilities called for consistent exploration and deep analysis of operational needs followed by the development and implementation of processes and supply solutions fundamental to corporate growth.
- Likun Shen, a 15-year Transphorm veteran, has been appointed to VP of engineering. He has previously served in a device and product engineering leadership capacity as well as a senior member of technical staff. His work has contributed to the design, fabrication, characterization and qualification of Transphorm’s GaN platform and derivative products. Notably, he led an initiative responsible for improving manufacturing yields while supporting reliability improvement efforts among others. Early in his career, he earned his Ph.D. on GaN devices and held the role of assistant project scientist in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), working directly with Transphorm’s co-founder & chief technology officer Umesh Mishra.
- Tushar Dhayagude assumes an expanded role as VP of worldwide sales, having joined in 2021 as VP of field applications & technical sales. He has become an integral member of the company’s leadership team, helping to strengthen Transphorm’s foothold in the adapter and select high-power markets while aiding solutions partnership development. He brings to this role more than 25 years’ experience in sales, marketing and engineering roles (including more than 18 years specific to power and semiconductor technologies). Prior to Transphorm, he was founder & CEO of GV Semiconductor Inc, which produced GaN-on-silicon power HEMTs, controllers and power systems.
- Vipin Bothra joins Transphorm as VP of sales, North America & Europe. With 25 years of global sales and technical experience in semiconductors, he was most recently director, sales for industrial markets at global semiconductor manufacturer STMicroelectronics, where he led the definition and execution of go-to-market strategies for the Aerospace, Automation, Energy, Healthcare and Motion sectors. These strategies drew on a diversified set of disciplines from partnership ideation and channel programs to global market development campaigns which resulted in a multi-fold revenue growth.
- Peter Cheng joins Transphorm as VP of product marketing & applications. His experience spans managerial roles in design engineering and product marketing, most recently as senior director, Power IC Product Line at Alpha and Omega Semiconductor Inc. Overseeing five product groups, he was instrumental in defining new product requirements and application criteria along with developing viable product roadmaps. He has a multi-disciplined background — design engineering, application engineering, product engineering, marketing, and business development — in the power semiconductor industry.
Original – Semiconductor Today
Next-generation GaN E-mobility Technology. KYOCERA AVX Salzburg and VisIC Technologies Expand Their Collaboration
VisIC Technologies and KYOCERA AVX Salzburg announced the expansion of their collaboration.
The partners are combining their strengths in packaging, assembly, and GaN wafer technologies with the aim of providing high current components for high-voltage applications such as charging and e-drivetrain.
The collaboration expansion aims to fulfill the automotive industry demands for reliable and highly efficient power solutions that will save on EV costs. With the best thermal resistance, discrete GaN devices and half-bridge modules will be essential for future On-Board-Chargers (OBC) and traction inverters, thus optimizing weight, size, costs, and driving range.
Based on VisIC’s 2nd generation, lowest RDS (on) D3GaN (Direct Drive D-Mode) switches, the power module, which will provide groundbreaking power density and performance, has already been adopted for the next generation inverter sample of a major 1st tier automotive manufacturer.
In addition to these collaboration developments, the companies have also achieved an approach to high-voltage battery disconnection, based on GaN power switches, through effective cooperation in a very short timeframe. With the fastest switching time, the current and, therefore, thermal stress of the battery and board net, can be limited. This design will be available for lead projects this year.
“The electrification of the automotive industry has generated significant demand for power components, which we foresee continuing its strong growth for the next decade,” said Ran Klier, SVP of Sales & Marketing at VisIC Technologies. “Together with KYOCERA AVX Salzburg, we will provide packaged discrete GaN devices and die-based power modules for major EV OEM and Tier 1 designs.”
VisIC’s D3GaN technology was developed for the high-reliability standards of the automotive industry and for the lowest losses. It also simplifies the system solution and enables highly efficient and affordable powertrain platform solutions. These benefits have been well received by the premium automotive clients that VisIC Technologies has been working with over the past several years.
“Gallium nitride semiconductors are the key to efficiency improvements and increasing the driving range of electrified vehicles. This technology offers significantly better switching speed and smaller and lighter package sizes, thereby reducing total system costs,” says Martin Knosp, Product Line Director at KYOCERA AVX Salzburg. “We are happy to expand our cooperation with VisIC Technologies, leveraging our advanced design and manufacturing abilities to create more GaN products and devices to better serve the booming EV market demands.”
Original – VisIC Technologies
Jaguar Land Rover Partners with Wolfspeed for Silicon Carbide Semiconductor Technology Supply for Next Generation Electric Vehicles
Jaguar Land Rover and Wolfspeed, Inc. announced a strategic partnership to supply Silicon Carbide semiconductors for next generation electric vehicles, delivering increased powertrain efficiency and extended driving range.
Under its Reimagine strategy, Jaguar Land Rover is transforming to an electric-first business, to become carbon net zero across its supply chain, products, services, and operations by 2039.
Wolfspeed’s advanced Silicon Carbide technology will be used specifically in the vehicles’ inverter, managing the transfer of power from the battery to the electric motors. The first Range Rover vehicles with this advanced technology will be available from 2024, and the new all-electric Jaguar brand the following year.
The partnership builds on Wolfspeed’s existing relationship with the race-winning Jaguar TCS Racing team competing in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, where its advanced Silicon Carbide technology has been used to accelerate on-track efficiency and performance.
The agreement is the latest in Jaguar Land Rover’s programme of establishing strategic partnerships with industry leaders for its future modern luxury vehicles: in February 2022, Jaguar Land Rover announced a partnership with NVIDIA focused on software-defined, advanced automated driving systems for next-generation vehicles starting in 2025.
Thierry Bolloré, Chief Executive Officer, Jaguar Land Rover, said: “We are not strangers having collaborated together with the Jaguar TCS Racing team for the last five seasons. By developing that into a strategic partnership as part of our Reimagine strategy, we can integrate Wolfspeed’s advanced Silicon Carbide technology into our next generation electric vehicles, delivering extended range and performance capabilities for our clients.”
Wolfspeed President and CEO, Gregg Lowe, said: “Wolfspeed is proud to partner with Jaguar Land Rover, supporting its bold commitment to electrify its iconic brands by using Silicon Carbide’s superior performance, efficiency and range. The energy efficiency of Silicon Carbide will play an essential role as Jaguar Land Rover pursues its own zero carbon goals, and as the world transitions to an all-electric transportation future.”
The partnership agreement sees Jaguar Land Rover participate in the Wolfspeed Assurance of Supply ProgramTM, to secure the supply of this technology for future electric vehicle production needs. This will enable greater visibility and control over Jaguar Land Rover’s future supply chain and is key to the new value chain approach of the company’s operations and supply chain under the leadership of Barbara Bergmeier, Executive Director of Industrial Operations.
Wolfspeed’s world leading technology is powering electric propulsion systems across the entire voltage spectrum – from 400V to 800V. The Silicon Carbide power device solutions will be produced at Wolfspeed’s Mohawk Valley Fab in Marcy, New York, which opened in April 2022 as the world’s largest 200mm Silicon Carbide fabrication facility. The fully automated facility dramatically expands capacity for Wolfspeed’s Silicon Carbide technologies, which will supply the increasing demand for EV production and other advanced technology sectors around the world.
Original – Wolfspeed
European Investment Bank Supports Development of Siltronic’s Next Generation of Silicon Wafers
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is providing a EUR 200 mn loan to Siltronic AG, one of the world’s leading silicon wafer manufacturers and a key supplier to most leading semiconductor companies. The investment is earmarked for research and development of the next generation of hyperpure silicon wafers and ingots, and for the upgrade of silicon wafer production in Freiberg, Saxony.
Silicon wafers are the foundation of the modern semiconductor industry and the basis for chips in all electronic applications, be it computers, smartphones, electric cars or wind turbines.
Siltronic is the world’s fourth-largest silicon wafer manufacturer with a global market share of around 13% and is the technology leader for hyperpure silicon wafers, with production sites in Germany, Singapore and the United States.
This EIB operation supports the only major silicon wafer supplier outside Asia, financing key investments in the EU semiconductor value chain and strengthening the competitiveness of the EU semiconductor industry.
EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle, who is responsible for EIB projects in Germany, said: “We are proud to be part of a project that secures the highest level of technological proficiency for the European Union. We view Siltronic as a company of strategic importance for Europe. As the project will be implemented in Freiberg and Burghausen, it will secure jobs in Saxony and Bavaria.”
Christoph von Plotho, CEO of Siltronic AG, said: “We are pleased to step up our research and development in Germany with the support of the EIB. This will strengthen our global market position for specialty silicon wafer products and help expand our footprint in Europe.”
Original – Siltronic
Great Wall Motor to Set Up Chip-making Unit
The automaker plans to use its own funds to set up Xindong Semiconductor Technology Co Ltd with chairman Wei Jianjun and an entity controlled by Wei.
The company will have a registered capital of RMB 50 million ($6.9 million), with Wei contributing RMB 5 million, or 10 percent, and Great Wall Motor contributing RMB 10 million, or 20 percent.
Wensheng Technology, in which Wei and his wife Han Xuejuan hold 99 percent and 1 percent of the equity, respectively, will contribute RMB 35 million, or 70 percent of the shares.
Great Wall Motor’s announcement did not explicitly mention that the new company is a chip-making company, but its business scope involves chip business, including integrated circuit design, integrated circuit manufacturing, and electronic component and assembly manufacturing.
The move means Great Wall Motor will develop chips in-house, local media Cailian said, citing an unnamed source at the car company.
Original – CnEVPost
$30 Million in Federal Funding to Advance Innovation and Production of Next-Generation GaN Chips at GlobalFoundries Fab in Vermont
U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy and GlobalFoundries announced the award of $30 million in federal funding to advance the development and production of next-generation gallium nitride (GaN) on silicon semiconductors at GF’s facility in Essex Junction, Vermont. With their unique ability to handle significant heat and power levels, GaN semiconductors are positioned to enable game-changing performance and efficiency in applications including 5G and 6G smartphones, RF wireless infrastructure, electric vehicles, power grids, solar energy, and other technologies.
The announcement was made at an event today at GF’s Fab attended by Sen. Leahy, GF President and CEO Dr. Thomas Caulfield, GF Vermont Fab Vice President and General Manager Ken McAvey, Greater Burlington Industrial Corporation President Frank Cioffi, GF Fab team members, and other guests. The $30 million federal funding, secured by Sen. Leahy as an appropriation in the Consolidated Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2022, will enable GF to purchase tools and extend development and implementation of 200mm GaN wafer manufacturing. The incorporation of scaled GaN manufacturing into the Fab’s capabilities furthers the facility’s longstanding global leadership in RF semiconductor technology, and positions GF for leadership in making chips for high-power applications including electric vehicles, industrial motors, and energy applications.
“Senator Leahy’s leadership and dedication have been instrumental to the growth and success of semiconductor manufacturing in Vermont,” said Dr. Caulfield. “On behalf of the entire GF team, I thank Senator Leahy for his steadfast support of GF throughout his many years in office. As seen with today’s announcement, he has been a champion of putting this facility on the global forefront of semiconductor manufacturing. With this new federal funding, and the potential for further support in the 2023 federal budget, GF is well-positioned to become a global leader in GaN chip manufacturing—right here in Vermont.”
“Chips used all around the world are made right here in Essex Junction by this dedicated workforce,” said Senator Leahy. “I am extremely proud of that, and it’s something all Vermonters and Americans can take pride in. This funding is an investment in U.S. leadership in improved technology for chips that connect everything around us and power our handheld devices—with GlobalFoundries and Vermonters leading the way.”
This Other Transaction Agreement (OTA) was entered into by the Defense Microelectronics Activity via the Trusted Access Program Office (TAPO) of the U.S. Department of Defense. TAPO’s primary mission is to procure advanced semiconductors for the Departments most critical and sensitive weapons systems platforms. TAPO has been supporting dual use (both civilian and military applications) GaN on silicon development efforts since 2019 as GaN provides a stable semiconductor suitable in high power, high frequency devices the DoD needs to maintain technology advantage for the United States. This current development phase plans to leverage previous TAPO successes and continue maturing this dual use technology.
“GlobalFoundries has been a critical partner to the Trusted Access Program Office, enabling semiconductor assurance (Trust) to advanced semiconductor technologies for the Department’s most advanced weapon systems platforms. This engagement is just one step the DoD is taking to ensure the U.S. has continued access to advanced microelectronics technologies such as gallium nitride,” said DMEA Director Dr. Nicholas Martin.
This $30 million agreement is the latest federal investment to support GaN at GF’s Vermont Fab. In fiscal years 2020 and 2021, Sen. Leahy secured a total of $10 million for research and development related to advancing GaN technology at the facility, paving the way for this new award.
GF’s facility in Essex Junction, Vermont, near Burlington, was among the first major semiconductor manufacturing sites in the United States. Today nearly 2,000 GF employees work at the site, with a manufacturing capacity of more than 600,000 wafers per year. Built on GF’s differentiated technologies, these GF-made chips are used in smartphones, automobiles, and communications infrastructure applications around the world. The Fab is a Trusted Foundry and manufactures secure chips in partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense, for use in some of the nation’s most sensitive aerospace and defense systems.
Original – GlobalFoundries
Navitas’ EVP Ranbir Singh, Silicon Carbide Pioneer, Inducted into Engineering Hall of Fame
Navitas Semiconductor announced that Dr. Ranbir Singh, EVP of the company’s GeneSiC business unit, has been inducted into the North Carolina State University’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Alumni Hall of Fame.
The NCSU ECE Alumni Hall of Fame celebrates the accomplishments of outstanding graduates who have used their education to excel in a profession, career, or service. Dr. Singh’s induction for this prestigious accolade was based on his pioneering career in high-performance, high-reliability silicon carbide (SiC) semiconductors for high-power, high-voltage applications. This includes several innovation and R&D awards, plus the 2004 founding of GeneSiC Semiconductor, a company that went on to become an industry leader in SiC technology, acquired by Navitas in August 2022.
Professor Jay Baliga, Progress Energy Distinguished University Professor of the ECE Department at NCSU, who served as Dr. Singh’s doctoral thesis advisor, noted: “We welcome Ranbir to the NCSU ECE Alumini Hall of Fame. Since he graduated, we have followed his career and ground-breaking work with SiC technologies closely and are happy to have played a role in his success. A very small number of experts are chosen for the Hall of Fame, from more than 15,000 ECE alumni, making this a truly noteworthy distinction.”
During the induction ceremony on 21st October, Dr. Singh commented: “It is both an honor and a privilege to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. I look back fondly on my time at the University and within the ECE Department, which formed a solid foundation for my work in power electronics and the development of the advanced technologies on which the success of GeneSiC was built.”
Dr. Singh holds a Bachelor of Technology, Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, and both a master’s and PhD in Electrical Engineering – Power Semiconductors, from NCSU. He also holds over 40 US patents and has presented and published over 200 journal and conference papers.
Original – Navitas Semiconductor
Geely Technology Group Sets Up Joint Lab with CR Micro for Automotive Power Semiconductor
Geely Technology Group signed a cooperation agreement with China Resources Microelectronics (CR Micro) to formulate an industry cooperation mechanism for automotive power semiconductors.
Per the agreement, the two parties will jointly launch solutions based on power modules, MEMS sensors, as well as panel package products or technologies, complementing each other’s advantages. Through the partnership, the duo aims to promote semiconductor self-sufficiency under new energy vehicles and electric motorcycle scenarios.
In addition, Geely Technology Group and CR Micro will jointly set up “Geely Technology—China Resources Micro Automotive Sensor and Application Laboratory”. Geely Technology Group will aggregate its related semiconductor business resources, play to its advantages in the fields of automotive semiconductor, power battery, the electrification of motorcycle, and other fields, to advance the synergetic development throughout the industrial chain.
As an affiliate of Geely Holding Group, Geely Technology Group values new materials, new energy, and motorcycle travel culture as its core businesses, and synchronously invests in low-altitude travel, commercial aerospace, and other innovation businesses. The Group’s power semiconductor subsidiary is dedicated to providing services and products for clients in the automobile, motorcycles, photovoltaic, and energy storage fields.
Original – Gasgoo
flowPIM® S3 + 3xPFC for Power Ranges up to 11 kW
Higher power density, higher power ranges – the market expects no less from next-gen embedded drives, heat pumps and HVAC systems. Now Vincotech has engineered a groundbreaking topology to tackle this tough challenge: The new 1200 V flowPIM® S3 + 3xPFC featuring current-synthesizing PFC (CS-PFC) strikes the best balance between performance and system cost to benefit your business.
Original – Vincotech
Infineon Expanding Production of High-power Semiconductor Modules
Infineon Technologies AG has opened a new factory in Cegléd, Hungary, dedicated to the assembly and testing of high-power semiconductor modules targeted at electric vehicles (EVs). In addition, the company has invested in further production capacities for high-power modules that enable green energy, from wind turbines and solar modules to energy-efficient drives.
“Infineon is pursuing a long-term growth path. Decarbonization and digitalization are driving demand for our semiconductor solutions,” said Infineon COO Rutger Wijburg. “Cegléd already has a strong track record in enabling green energy. The new manufacturing capacities will help Infineon accommodate the growing demand for electromobility applications. At Infineon, we have been investing in the future growth of electromobility from the earliest stage. Today our company is the key semiconductor enabler of the transition to green energy.”
The growth of electromobility is undisputed. Cars with fully or partially electrified drivetrains will account for more than 50 percent of cars produced by 2027, as per analyst forecasts.
Since its founding, Infineon has shown continuous commitment in Hungary and has now invested an additional €100 million in the new fab, complemented by support from the Hungarian government.
“Infineon has been present in Hungary for more than 25 years as a manufacturer of innovative semiconductor products, building on a highly reliable regional industrial infrastructure. Over the years, Infineon has gained a strong reputation in power modules, serving customers all over the world,” said Tamás Szabó, Managing Director of Infineon Technologies Cegléd Kft.
Infineon is driving the expansion of renewable energies and the energy-efficient storage and use of green electricity. As the global market leader for automotive semiconductors, Infineon pioneered the development of EVs. Almost every second electric or hybrid car produced in 2021 uses Infineon semiconductors in its inverter.
When the new factory is fully staffed, another 275 employees will work for Infineon in Cegléd, bringing the total headcount to approximately 1,600. Production ramp-up started in February 2022.
Original – EE Times Asia
STMicroelectronics to Build Integrated Silicon Carbide Substrate Manufacturing Facility in Italy
STMicroelectronics will build an integrated Silicon Carbide (SiC) substrate manufacturing facility in Italy to support the increasing demand from ST’s customers for SiC devices across automotive and industrial applications as they transition to electrification and seek higher efficiency. Production is expected to start in 2023, enabling a balanced supply of SiC substrate between internal and merchant supply.
The SiC substrate manufacturing facility, built at ST’s Catania site in Italy alongside the existing SiC device manufacturing facility, will be a first of a kind in Europe for the production in volume of 150mm SiC epitaxial substrates, integrating all steps in the production flow. ST is committed to develop 200mm wafers in the next future.
This project is a key step in advancing ST’s vertical integration strategy for its SiC business. The investment of €730 million over five years will be supported financially by the State of Italy in the framework of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan and it will create around 700 direct additional jobs at full build-out.
“ST is transforming its global manufacturing operations, with additional capacity in 300mm manufacturing and a strong focus on wide bandgap semiconductors to support its $20+B revenue ambition. We are expanding our operations in Catania, the center of our power semiconductor expertise and where we already have integrated research, development and manufacturing of SiC with strong collaboration with Italian research entities, universities and suppliers” said Jean-Marc Chery, President and Chief Executive Officer of STMicroelectronics. “This new facility will be key to our vertical integration in SiC, reinforcing our SiC substrate supply as we further ramp up volumes to support our automotive and industrial customers in their shift to electrification and higher efficiency”.
ST’s leadership in SiC is the result of 25 years of focus and commitment in R&D with a large portfolio of key patents. Catania has long been an important site for innovation for ST as the home of the largest SiC R&D and manufacturing operations, successfully contributing to the development of new solutions for producing more and better SiC devices. With an established eco-system on power electronics, including a long-term, successful collaboration between ST and different stakeholders (the University, the CNR -Italian National Research Council-, companies involved in equipment and product manufacturing) as well as a large network of suppliers, this investment will strengthen Catania’s role as a global competence center for Silicon Carbide technology and for further growth opportunities.
ST’s leading-edge, high-volume STPOWER SiC products are currently manufactured in its fabs in Catania and Ang Mo Kio (Singapore). Assembly and test are done at back-end sites in Shenzhen (China) and Bouskoura (Morocco). The investment in this SiC substrate manufacturing facility builds on this expertise and is a significant milestone on ST’s path towards reaching 40% internal substrate sourcing by 2024.
Original – STMicroelectronics
TI’s New 300-millimeter Wafer Fab in Richardson, Texas, Begins Initial Production
TI’s newest 300-millimeter wafer fab in Richardson, Texas, has started initial production and will ramp over the coming months to support the future growth of semiconductors in electronics. RFAB2 is connected to RFAB1, which opened in 2009 as the world’s first 300-mm analog wafer fab, and is one of six new 300-mm wafer fabs our company is adding to our manufacturing operations.
“We are thrilled to see initial production running through our newest and largest 300-mm wafer fab, which is part of our investment to expand internal manufacturing capacity for the long term,” said Kyle Flessner, senior vice president, Technology and Manufacturing Group. “This milestone is a result of close collaboration between our construction, facilities and manufacturing teams and we’re excited to ramp output over the coming months to support our customers’ demand for years to come.”
The new fab is more than 30% larger than RFAB1, offering more than 630,000 square feet of total clean room space between the two fabs. Fifteen miles of automated, overhead delivery systems will seamlessly move wafers between the two fabs once fully built out.
At full production, the Richardson fabs will manufacture more than 100 million analog chips every day that will go into electronics everywhere – from renewable energy sources to electric vehicles.
“Having these two fabs connected within one manufacturing site in Richardson, Texas, provides great operational efficiencies and scale, allowing us to better support our customers,” Kyle said. “We’ve been in North Texas for more than 90 years and are proud of the great partnership we have with the Richardson community. This is an exciting time for our employees and all of North Texas as we continue to build semiconductor manufacturing excellence together.”
Our company has a long-standing commitment to responsible, sustainable manufacturing. RFAB1 was the world’s first LEED Gold-certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) analog semiconductor manufacturing facility, designed to meet one of the rating system’s high levels of structural efficiency and sustainability. RFAB2 builds on this commitment and was also designed to meet LEED Gold standards.
RFAB2 complements our existing 300-mm wafer fab footprint, including DMOS6 (Dallas) and RFAB1 (Richardson), and is one of six new 300-mm wafer fabs our company is adding to internally manufacture our broad, diverse portfolio of analog and embedded processing semiconductor devices. LFAB in Utah, which our company purchased in 2021, is preparing for initial production in the coming months. Our company also announced a $30 billion investment in four new fabs in Sherman, Texas, last year. Construction of the first and second fabs is under way, with production from the first fab expected in 2025.
“Our 300-mm wafer fab expansion plays an important role in TI’s future growth and in our ability to support customers’ demand for decades,” said Mohammad Yunus, senior vice president, Manufacturing Operations. “I’m proud of the progress that’s been made and I’m looking forward to continuing to ramp 300-mm production in RFAB2 over the coming months.”
Original – Texas Instruments
onsemi Expands Operations in Bucharest with Opening of New Design Center
onsemi announced the opening of a new design center for state-of-the-art semiconductor chips in Bucharest, Romania. The technologies developed at the 3000m2 of new office space and hi-tech laboratories are intended for high temperature and high endurance use, isolated drivers for automotive applications and high precision parts for intelligent sensing.
The center encompasses the entire new-product development cycle, covering a wide range of activities such as integrated circuits design, layout, test development, applications, technology development, project management and product marketing. Acquired by onsemi in 2008, the team in Romania has continued to grow, surpassing 100 employees, while adopting new technologies for best-in-class semiconductor development.
“Having the entire development cycle in one place enables closer collaboration that speeds up the process from innovative idea and development to delivery to the customer,” said Brian Pickard, vice president, Power Solutions Group at onsemi. “The new design center also offers more career opportunities for our exceptional team in Romania while attracting new talent that are eager to drive technology breakthroughs for a sustainable future.”
The design center is located at The Light One campus, in Bucharest. With its proximity to Politehnica, a primary university of cooperation for onsemi in Bucharest, it is an ideal location to provide opportunities to bright students who are interested in developing their skillsets with a leading high-tech company. This will further strengthen the existing relationship with the university, where onsemi experts are already teaching the latest trends in electronic design and technologies. The larger, more dynamic high-tech space will enable onsemi to continue to grow and expand its activities in semiconductor development.
Original – onsemi
SwissSEM Opens Test-Laboratory in Switzerland
The new facility is located in Oberentfelden Switzerland, which is in close vicinity of our headquarters in Lenzburg. It offers more than 200 square meters dedicated to power semiconductor testing. The building offers reliable electricity supply through a total of 200 kW installed solar panels on its roof.
In the coming months we will bring life to the space by adding the test equipment needed for the complete electrical characterization of IGBT and Silicon Carbide MOSFET chips and modules.
Original – SwissSEM
onsemi Expands its Silicon Carbide Fab in the Czech Republic
onsemi celebrated the inauguration of its expanded silicon carbide (SiC) fab in Roznov, Czech Republic. Multiple guests of honor attended the ribbon cutting ceremony led by Ministry of Industry and Trade Section Chief Zbyněk Pokorný, Governor of the Zlín Region Radim Holiš and City Mayor Jiří Pavlica as well as other local governmental dignitaries, signifying the importance of this event and manufacturing of semiconductors in the Czech Republic.
Starting in 2019, onsemi added SiC polished wafer and SiC epitaxy (EPI) wafer production to its existing silicon polished and epitaxy wafer and die manufacturing in Roznov. Having outgrown the original site, reconstruction of a new building began last year to further expand wafer and SiC EPI manufacturing. Over the next two years, this expansion will increase the site’s SiC production capabilities by 16 times and create 200 jobs by the end of 2024. So far onsemi has invested more than $150 million in the Roznov site and plans to spend an additional $300 million through 2023. onsemi was recently awarded the Association for Foreign Investments (AFI) Prize for Significant Contribution in the Field of Investment for its SiC investments in the Czech Republic.
“Together with our SiC boule production expansion in Hudson, NH, these increased SiC manufacturing capabilities enable onsemi to provide customers the critical supply assurance to meet the rapidly growing demand for SiC-based solutions,” said Simon Keeton, executive vice president and general manager Power Solutions Group at onsemi. “Full control over our SiC manufacturing supply chain and the market-leading efficiency of our products underscore onsemi’s progress toward SiC leadership.”
SiC is critical for enabling efficiency in electric vehicles (EVs), EV charging, and energy infrastructure and is an important contributor on the path to decarbonization.
Original – onsemi
onsemi to Sell 200mm Wafer Fab to Japanese and US Foundries Under New Strategic Focus
Mercuria Holdings, a fund backed by the Development Bank of Japan and Japanese trading house Itochu will buy a 200mm wafer fab from US-based ON Semiconductor, according to Nikkei Asia. The purchase will be jointly made with Sangyo Sosei Advisory, a financial advisory firm, and Fukuoka Capital Partners, reported Nikkei Asia on October 31.
The purchase and the capital spending on equipment upgrade are expected to top JPY20 billion (US$135 million).
The fab, located in Nîgata, Japan, will begin to operate as a foundry manufacturing power semiconductors, starting in December. As Nikkei Asia reports, Mercuria is planning to buy more Japanese fabs for contract manufacturing, in a bid to strengthen the country’s chip manufacturing capability. The majority of Japan-based fabs focus on power and analog semiconductors, and are dated back to the heydays of Japanese IC industry in the 1980s. The Niigata facility, built by Sanyo Electric in 1985, is one of them. It was later acquired by ON Semiconductor in 2011.
Apart from the Niigata facility, Onsemi also sold another 200mm fab located in Pocatello, Idaho to LA Semiconductor – a pure-play foundry established by Ohio-based Linear ASICS. LA Semiconductor boasts to be US-owned and -operated, and manufactures analog, mixed signal and power products on its 180nm process. In comparison, the Idaho-based fab it has just acquired manufactures analog CMOS, BCD, advanced discrete components at 0.35 micron to 1.5 micron.
As a part of Onsemi’s ‘fab-liter manufacturing strategy’, the company is undertaking a series of divestment, moving away from its legacy IDM model to reduce fixed costs and minimize gross margin volatility. As Onsemi puts it, it seeks to invest in internal capacity for differentiated technologies and strategic growth areas, especially silicon carbide, while utilizing external manufacturing for non-proprietary technologies.
Beginning in 2019, Onsemi started to add SiC polished wafer and SiC epitaxy wafer production to its silicon wafer manufacturing site in Roznov, Czech Republic, and proceeded to expand its SiC capacity there since 2021. The Czech site is expected to see SiC production capabilities increasing by 16 times over the next two years. Onsemi has invested more than US$150 million on the site, and will invest an additional US$300 million through 2023. Another SiC facility in the US state of New Hampshire was also inaugurated in August.
Onsemi also plans to exit sub-scale fabs and shift to 300mm capacity, indicating that 300mm provides significant cost advantage in front-end costs. “We executed our fab-lighter strategy with planned exits of four fabs to reduce our fixed costs,” said Onsemi CEO Hassane El-Khoury, during its Q3 2022 earnings call held on October 31. In early 2022, the company just closed the sale of its fab located in Oudenaarde, Belgium, while entering into an agreement to sell another fab in South Portland, Maine.
Original – DIGITIMES Asia
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